The year was 1998, and I was still working at IBM. A software development company on the west coast had approached me about leaving my dream job to come travel the world and work for them.
The reason I went into business for myself is because someone wanted to hire me for a full-time traveling consulting gig. We came to an agreement on the type of consulting, and then they asked me to propose a price. I mulled around the starting number in my head… then I started thinking “Well… what if I asked for x amount.” I kept doing that over and over, boosting up the number until I came to an hourly rate that 1. Was insanely high (by my standards at the time) and 2. I was sure nobody would pay me. (Sidebar: I’ve also learned that there is no second chance when you make demands. You can’t go back and ask for a bigger number later.)
I put forward my number KNOWING that it would not be accepted… and it was. My life has never been the same.